Pence-Xi Showdown at APEC Shows U.S.-China Divide Only Widening

Frederick Owens
November 17, 2018

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned that globalization was leaving some people behind and fueling inequality.

Pence said the U.S. will partner with Papua New Guinea and Australia on a joint maritime initiative at Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island. He had strong words for the US.

He also announced the United States would join with Australia in the development of a new naval base.

"But that is nothing compared with what we see now", a resident said on Saturday, citing snipers on the roof, parts of the hotel sealed off, road blocks and special clearance required for cars.

"We hope for better, but the United States will not change course until China changes its ways".

Pence said there would be no letup in President Donald Trump's policy of combating China's mercantilist trade policy and intellectual property theft that has erupted into a tit-for-tat tariff war between the two world powers this year.

TOUCHDOWN President Duterte is welcomed at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby by Papua New Guinea officials led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury Charles Abel and Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, as well as Philippine Ambassador Bienvenido Tejano (right).

APEC is also facing questions about its future. We don't coerce, corrupt, or compromise your independence.

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The implicit reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative came as Pence neared the end of his week-long swing through Asia, with his aides characterising Saturday's speech as the capstone of his trip.

In a major speech, Xi also stressed that there would be no winners from a trade war or a new cold war amid increasing rivalry between the world's top two economies.

Pence took direct aim at Xi's flagship Belt and Road programme, which China has been promoting to Pacific nations at APEC, saying countries should not accept debt that compromised their sovereignty. "The United States deals openly and fairly".

Locals watch as Chinese President Xi Jinping's motorcade leaves the Butuka Academy school, ahead of the APEC summit.

"It is not created to serve any hidden geopolitical agenda, it is not targeted against anyone and it does not exclude anyone".

In the absence of Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the summit itself has been relatively low-key and the focus has turned to the venue Port Moresby.

"Papua New Guinea is a very rural country with a big rural population".

Mr Pence had originally been due to shuttle to the Apec talks from the northern Australian city of Cairns rather than stay overnight in Port Moresby, which is hosting the gathering for the first time.

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